Saturday, 22 August 2020

Dip Starter Pack 2020-2021

 As highly requested following feedback on my "Dip Tips" blog post, I created this Dip Starter Pack to save probationary teachers lots of time, effort and money. I've just updated it for the 2020-2021 school year. I couldn't help myself when making it and went a bit overboard in buying shabby chic and bullet journal style clip art! You'll see that theme running through the pack! :)

Here's what's in the 170 page pack: 
(the preview picture below doesn't show everything! Scroll down to read the full contents.)

  • Example short-term (weekly) plans
  • Example long-term (termly) plans
  • Example cuntais míosúla
  • 9 cover sheets for your planning and assessment folders
  • Weekly planning checklists (3 sheets, one per term)
  • Editable checklists and information sheets (e.g. homework record, information for substitute teachers, birthday record, etc.)
  • Teacher calendar sheets (August 2020 - July 2021)
  • Editable international Events Calendar 2020-2021
  • A PDF copy of my "Dip Tips" blog post

  • Superhero-themed behaviour management tools including an editable token chart, token sheets, an editable behaviour record cover, goal-setting/reflection sheets, a behaviour frequency record with an example and instructions)
  • Two Stars and a Wish self-assessment sheets
  • Self-assessment display based on Marzano's Levels of Understanding
  • Self-assessment sheet based on Marzano's Levels of Understanding

  • Laethanta na Seachtaine display
  • Dathanna display
  • Prionta sa Timpeallacht (28 flashcards, 4 posters)
  • Na h-Ábhair Scoile circular display
  • Visual timetable pack (with editable cards)
  • WALT and WILF signs (for sharing objectives and assessment criteria)

Many of these resources are available individually (paid/free) in my TPT store. The total of the paid resources is $18.50. This bundle allows you to save $6.50 as it's priced at $12 (that's roughly €10.60). The example weeklies, termlies and cuntais míosúla are not sold separately. Those are a bonus just for this bundle! So, in summary, for just over a tenner (not a massive investment!) you'll get 170 pages of example plans, planning and assessment templates and classroom displays. 

Here's a closer look at just some of the things that are inside. Click on the images if you'd like to purchase these separately! Many are suitable for non-dip-doing teachers too!

These calendar sheets (not just for dip teachers!):

These bullet-journal inspired, washi-tape filled checklists to help you keep track of your planning (and fulfill your pretty stationery needs!): 
The dates in the preview are from a previous year but the actual file is updated for the 2020-2021 school year

These editable sheets for your teacher folder including a birthday tracker, editable information sheets for substitute teachers, lots of editable checklists that you could use for homework, phonics, spelling test records, recording specific objectives. (Again, not just for the dip!):


These pretty dip folder cover sheets (9 of them in total!). I also have editable versions in different styles for anybody not doing the dip:

These superhero-themed behaviour management tools for tackling individual children's behaviour. This pack includes a fully editable behaviour chart with editable tokens, a behaviour frequency record with an example and instructions and a cover sheet and goal-setting/reflection sheet to make a behaviour record book (FYI, my dip inspector loved seeing that record book!):

This prionta sa timpeallacht pack that contains 28 flashcards and 4 posters:

These visual timetable cards (includes editable cards):

 These circular chalkboard-style subject posters as Gaeilge:

This self-assessment chart based on Marzano's Levels of Understanding (with corresponding self-assessment sheets): Here's how it looked in my classroom last year!

Thursday, 4 June 2020

FREEBIE: Maths Scavenger Hunt (Editable)

Hi all,

Just a quick freebie that I've created for the last week of school. It's an editable maths scavenger hunt aimed at 8-9 year olds. It's on Google Slides so perfect for those doing distance learning / remote learning using Google Classroom. Students will need a device on which they can take photographs and add them to this presentation.

To download, click here and it will prompt you to make your own copy.

Here's a video preview of the resource:

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Freebie: Symmetry Choice Board for Distance Learning (Editable)

In our school here in Italy, we're in week 13 of distance learning! As I've mentioned before, a lot of the resources I have been making are very specific to our POI (programme of inquiry) so I haven't been sharing them. This latest resource I made this morning is very general. It's a symmetry choice board, aimed for upper elementary students. It's on Slides so ideal to share on Google Classroom or you can convert it to a PDF by going to File --> Download. 

This free resource is completely editable. Simply click here to make your own copy and then edit as necessary for your students. 
*NOTE: This opened perfectly when using Google Chrome but the formatting was a bit off when I used the Safari browser.

Happy teaching!

Saturday, 16 May 2020

Editable End of Year Memory Book for Remote Learning

Hi all,

The end of the school year is approaching for many of us. I got lost down a rabbit hole of pretty clip art today and felt so inspired. I decided to make this end of year memory book on Slides. The idea is that anyone doing distance learning / remote teaching through Google Classroom could share it with their students. 

The presentation is editable so it can be modified to suit your class' needs. There's an editable template side that can be copied and pasted. Of course you could also delete any slides that you don't want. Make it your own before you share it with your students!

Have a look at this video preview:

If you're interested in it, you can download it from my TPT store by clicking here.

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Freebie: Editable Choice Board for Remote Learning Project

Hi all,

Our school has been doing remote learning for the past 7 weeks here in Italy. I'd love to share more here but, being a PYP school, a lot of resources we have made are very specific to our school's Programme of Inquiry and wouldn't be useful to others. 

However, I think this choice board could be a valuable resource for remote learning during the current school closures. Simply click here to download. This will prompt you to make a copy in Google Slides. You will then be able to edit this copy to suit your class' needs. Don't worry if you do not have a way to share this with your students through an online learning portal. You can simply click "File" then "Download" and save it as a PDF file.

Choice boards are a great way to promote student agency. The students get to decide how they would like to learn. As our students were learning about how the activities of different regions in Italy are connected to the natural environment, they did research projects about their chosen regions in Italy. I've modified the version I'm sharing with you to be about a country. However, you could change it to be about a specific county or state.

You can also modify the activities to suit your students' current skillset. We had already focused on directions, data handling and persuasive language - hence you'll see that some activities are closely linked to that. 

We tried to put in a variety of activities to suit different intelligences, interests and strengths. We asked our students to do one task of each colour. The green tasks have more of a language focus, the purple a maths focus and the yellow were more "creative" activities, trying to incorporate visual arts, music, drama, dance etc. You could also put in something more "sporty" like demonstrating skills from the national sport, designing a logo for that country/county/state's team, etc.

Sunday, 8 September 2019

Grade 4 PYP Classroom Reveal

I have survived! Just about! I always forget just how much energy goes into the first week of school. Anyway, I managed to get a few snaps to show you around our grade 4 PYP classroom. Here's the first board. The students wrote their yearly goals on the popcorn pieces and wrote the Learner Profile attribute they related to. Also, how cute are the dog pegs we have in our school corridors?
Here's the view from the back of the room. I kept my cacti on the teacher board (They make me happy!). See how I crafted them here. I made the clock labels last year with the free digital papers from Jena Hudson at Sew Much Music.

I've displayed the PYP key concepts on the bottom of the board. I got these fantastic keys for free from Ms. Murdoch. When the students create initial questions at the start of a unit of inquiry, we have a discussion to categorise them according to the key concepts and stick them on post-it notes above the laminated keys. I have also attached my remote controls to the side of the board using adhesive velcro squares. I can guarantee I'd lose them otherwise!

I kept more or less the same calendar / self-assessment / Student of the Week display as last year. I'm still in love with this grey and mint calendar. The way I did "Student of the Week" worked very well last year. I choose a student on Monday to be our Student of the Week. The other students are encouraged to note instances where they demonstrate attributes of the Learner Profile. They can add this to the sheet. The sheet will be given to the student at the end of the week. As you can see, this sheet is put on with little pegs so it's easy to change weekly. Also on this display you'll see some reflection posters based on Marzano's Levels of Understanding. I have similar ones in my TPT store but I edited these so they fit with the colour-scheme on this board.

This is going to be built up to be an international corner. Here is where we record the greeting we use for the register (we choose a new language each Monday). The students are already excited to use this Rugby World Cup wall chart to mark in their team's scores. I look forward to seeing how they get on with this target board (rugby-themed of course! It's part of my Rugby World Cup resource pack).

Here you can see our Class Agreements already up. The students chose to do them on a giant sheet of paper! And the "Magic Maths Words" display is still going strong. The students will add useful words to it as the year goes on to help with problem-solving e.g. multiplication words could be "multiply," "groups of," "by," "double," "times," etc. I got the title banner from Sparkleboxthe symbols from Fun for Learning and the adhesive googly eyes from Flying Tiger. Above those are these multiple posters (from Twinkl) which proved to be a very useful aid for some students last year. It's also very handy that I can cover them up with a blind if I need to hide that visual aid! They're free, even if you don't have a paid Twinkl membership.

In line with the enhanced PYP, I've updated the header on my ex-transdisciplinary skills posters so it now reads "Approaches to Learning." As you can see, the Learner Profile header is up on the door. On the second day, the students worked collaboratively on Google Sheets to create their own posters for each of the Learner Profile attributes. I then cut out a small, laminated photograph of each child. They move their own/ somebody else's photograph to the Learner Profile attribute they catch them displaying. We did this last year and it worked really well.

These restorative practice steps posters are a new purchase from @teacher_elaine_ (formerly Diary of an NQT)'s store. I placed them on the back of my locker so they are close to use when we have circle time.

Here's the back of our classroom. The Italian board was done by the Italian teacher and the other is a central unit of inquiry board. I've used resources from by Unit of Inquiry Bulletin Board Display Kit to display the important information. For now, I will continue to use this polkadot behaviour management clip chart that I got for free from Under The Alphabet Tree (on the tall bulletin board). It has worked very well for my classes in the past and it is used school-wide. Having read quite a few articles online this weekend about the effect it can have on children, I'm going to reflect on if I want to continue with this tool. I try to keep it as positive as possible and adjust expectations according to individual students' needs. If the clip chart doesn't work for a student, a separate individual behaviour management system can be put in place so they don't feel that their peg is always at a lower point on the chart. I made a cute little "Are we being principled?" sign for above it. That sign has traveled with me through many rooms and grades!

If you look closely in the last big picture, you can see this inquiry cycle poster in the middle of the big board. I got the circle graphic from Mr. PYP and I created the header using Twinkl Create. I've left the rest of the board blank so that we can add to it as we go through the stages of the inquiry cycle together, documenting along the way. Stand by for future posts on that!

And I love this little action board in the reading/reflection corner. I thought it would be nice here as the students can spend some time pondering on their ideas. I got these action posters from Susan Powers. If you are a PYP teacher and you don't know her blog PYP Teaching Tools, GET ON IT!!! She has amazing ideas and resources and you will be full of inspiration. She has also started a series of videos which are great for teachers who are new to the PYP to get their head around inquiry-based learning in PYP schools. I also picked up these action cycle posters from The Classroom Contessa. 

Up high you can see another new purchase, these Developing IB PYP Student-Led Action posters, again from the magnificent Susan Powers. I can't wait to use her planning templates so students can plan their action and reflect on it. I've left two boards blank for the students to create displays as they learn.

And last but not least, our Burning Questions board. Again, I've put the key concepts around it (I used the little ones from my UOI display kit mentioned above). We did this last year and it really helped the students to understand the key concepts. 

Thanks for taking the time to virtually visit our learning space! 

Saturday, 7 September 2019

Rugby World Cup 2019 Teaching Resources including FREEBIES!

I'm very excited about the Rugby World Cup. It's starting on 20th September and running until 2nd November. Here I've gathered some resources so you can celebrate the Rugby World Cup with your class in school. First I'll show you some of the resources I've made. Scroll down to the second part of this post for free resources!

Due to its popularity in previous years, I have updated this resource pack with lots of things to decorate your classroom (in particular, the RWC bunting would be a great first day back to school / golden time activity to  brighten up your classroom) and some different resources and ideas for various subject levels. I've also got a page in there with links to other good resources I have found.

The maths activities included in the pack are quite challenging so I would say that this pack is most suited to upper primary/elementary school.

The pack includes:
  • A heading and posters displaying the 4 pools
  • Flashcards with each of the participating countries' names and flags
  • Bunting with black and white versions of the participating countries' flags for the children to decorate - a very easy display to create and it would make your classroom/corridors very festive!
  • An 8-page research project template - This could be used in class or as a homework task. The idea is that the children choose (independently or randomly select from a hat!) one of the participating countries to study in depth.
  • Two maths loop games (one is based on the 5 times tables, the other is quite challenging!)
  • A rugby-based maths target game (this one's a good challenge!)
  • A table quiz about the RWC (with answers!) and an answer sheet for the children
  • Language, drama, PE, music, art and history lesson ideas.
  • Useful links to other resources that might be helpful
The pack is just $3 (that's less than €3!). If you wish to purchase it, pop over to my TPT store by clicking here.

Here's a pic of some of the kit already in use in some schools in Ireland (thanks, Sandra and Timmy for the pics!)

And here is the start of the RWC corner (work in progress) in my classroom.
(Note: The "We can greet each other..." poster is not part of the RWC resource pack)

For Irish teachers, a version as Gaeilge is available in my TPT store for the same price. This could be very useful for teachers in gaelscoileanna or if you choose to do "caitheamh aimsire" as your téama in September or October.
(To clarify, I've only translated the materials that the children will use and the questions for the tráth na gceist. The teaching ideas and instructions are still written in English.)

I have also created a Rugby World Cup Fixtures Wall Calendar which is available in my TPT store for just $1! Irish teachers, I've also created a leagan Gaeilge (version in the Irish language) for the same price. 


Discover different country's war dances: 
Show them videos with this YouTube playlist. Have your class choreograph their own version of a haka.

Have the students find participating countries on a map:
Here's the one we did in my class. If you'd like the heading, grab it for free from my Drive here. I printed that on card, found an image of the world to print on A3 and glued it on.

The BAZILLIONS of resources on Ruggerland:
I can't recommend Ruggerland's teacher resource section highly enough. This site is jam-packed full of RWC-themed resources that span lots of curricular areas. And best of all, everything on there is free! Get browsing - you won't regret it!

Here are some of my favourites from Ruggerland:

Design their own Mascot:
Introduce your students to Ren-G, the official Rugby World Cup 2019 mascot. They could read some information about Ren-G on the official RWC website or watch this cute video. Have your class design their own mascot for this year's world cup or maybe one for the 2023 RWC trying to incorporate something from French culture.
History of Rugby Reading Comprehension:
It does what it says on the tin! Check out this lovely freebie from Top Teaching Tasks. It includes great graphic organisers and higher order thinking tasks.

Have a quiz about Japan...
...with All Blacks' captain Kieran Read on the amazing Ruggerland website.

Get playing!
If you're in an Irish school, check out Aldi Play Rugby - you can register your school for free by clicking here. Find out more about it on Aldi's website from the man on Superman's pyjamas. If you're in another country, check out your national team's website to see if they offer programmes for schools.